It’s a Long Way From Shipshewana

You may have heard the old British song from WWI, It’s a Long Way to Tipperary. It begins like this: “It’s a long way to Tipperary, it’s a long way to go…” If you know the melody, substitute these words: It a long way from Shipshewana, it’s a long way to Holmes… Those words went through our minds last weekend. 

Warning. This blog post is not genealogy related. Well, maybe just a little at the end.

Last weekend we took a little time away. As luck would have it, our two favorite groups had concerts two nights in a row, in two different states, both in Amish country. I guess we don’t see enough Amish around here because we often find ourselves vacationing in either Northern Indiana, in Shipshewana, or in Holmes County Ohio. Last weekend we were in both areas, Shipshewana on Friday and Holmes County on Saturday. And it was quite a drive from Shipshewana to Holmes County. Five plus hours to be sure. It a long way from Shipshewana, it’s a long way to Holmes…

Riders in the Sky, Blue Gate Theater, April 2023

On Friday night we saw the Western/cowboy group Riders in the Sky at the Blue Gate Theatre, Shipshewana. I have seen them about half a dozen times, the first time at the Grand Ole Opry about 20 years ago. Riders in the Sky have been together over 40 years and perform well-known cowboy songs such as Rawhide, Cool Water, Tumbling Tumbleweed, Ghost Riders in the Sky, and others. They have two Grammy Awards for two Disney albums and are known for the song Woody’s Roundup from the movie Toy Story 2. The group consists of Too Slim, Woody Paul, Ranger Doug, and Joey the Cowpolka King. Often the chuck-wagon cook and sidekick, Side Meat, makes an appearance, and he was there Friday night.

Ranger Doug & Too Slim, Riders in the Sky, Blue Gate Theater, April 2023

In addition to singing and yodeling, Riders in the Sky entertained and engaged the audience with jokes and funny stories, all done the Cowboy Way. Friday night’s show was great and we got to thank Too Slim in person at breakfast Saturday morning.

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Amish Country Theater, Berlin, April 2023

After breakfast we got on the turnpike, headed toward Ohio, on our way to Homes County to see Rhonda Vincent and the Rage at the Amish Country Theater in Berlin that evening. Rhonda Vincent and the Rage is a Blue Grass group and we try to see them whenever they are within reasonable driving distance. We have seen them about 8-10 times. The group consists of Rhonda, Aaron, Adam, Jeff, Mickey, and Zack.

Rhonda Vincent, singing There’s a Record Book, April 2023

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Amish Country Theater, Berlin, April 2023

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage put on a wonderful show Saturday night and they even performed one of my favorite songs, the Gospel song There’s A Record Book. I was thrilled to hear it again live. In my opinion, Rhonda does the best version of this song, which has been performed and recorded by many artists.

Historic Zoar Village, April 2023

Many things are closed on Sunday in Holmes County so we drove over to Tuscarawas County and took a guided tour of the historic village of Zoar. The tour was very interesting and was even more enjoyable when the rain stopped and the sun came out. It was a beautiful afternoon.

Historic Zoar Village, April 2023

Historic Zoar Village, April 2023

Historic Zoar Village, April 2023

The rest of our stay in Holmes County consisted of shopping, eating, touring the David Warther Carvings Museum, eating, driving around, visiting Baltic Mill Winery and Breitenbach Winery, and more eating.

The David Warther ivory ship carvings were amazing. His ships range in size from about 8-15 inches and the detail is incredible. Many had a magnifying glass nearby to see the details.

David Warther’s USS Constitution

Detail of David Warther’s USS Constitution

A closeup of another ivory ship hand-carved by David Warther

It rained every day we were away but we made the best of it and had a wonderful trip despite the weather.

Rainy afternoon at Breitenbach Winery

Delicious wine and food at Baltic Mill Winery

On the way home we stopped at the Holmes County Recorder’s Office in Millersburg to look through their old deed records. I have wanted to do this for some time and that rainy morning seemed like the right time. I was hoping to learn if and where John Georg Schumm owned land in Holmes County, between 1833-1838, before he and his children settled in Van Wert County in about 1838. We did not find the name Schumm or a variation of the name Schumm in their land records.

However, we did find some Scars and Pfluegers in the records. My great-great-great-grandfather Christian Pflueger owned land in Holmes County and resided there during those early years and was enumerated in Walnut Creek Township in 1840. He owned farmland in Walnut Creek Township and we determined that his farm was just east of Heini’s Cheese Chalet, a little north of Berlin, on a road we have driven on several times. How interesting to know where he once lived.

But where were the Schumms? Did they not own land in Holmes County? Is their name unrecognizable in the deed records? Or did they live in nearby Tuscarawas County?

I see more research is needed. I guess we’ll just have to go back to the Holmes County area again. Oh, the sacrifices we make… 

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